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"Being Fit Does NOT Mean Being Skinny!" - Farah Khan Ali


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"I am excited by things that challenge me. The tougher the better. Things that are easy for me don’t intrigue me in the least. Becoming a jewellery designer was fated. I went to the GIA (Gemological Institute of America) 23 years ago and chose to do a course in jewellery design and ended up topping my class. This was very challenging for me but I believe that I excelled in it because it was tough, and eventually I made a career out of it. I believe that if someone wants to do something in life then they should give it their all. Anything done halfheartedly in life is pointless.

I believe my will power has made me the person I am today. When I was 19, my dad met with a terrible accident, 65% of his body was burnt. My entire family rallied together to hold hands and support each other. I was on the cusp of adulthood, Simone was 18, Sussanne was 13 and the doctors had given up on dad saying he will not be able to make it. But his immense will power made us all strong and eventually he pulled through. Will power thus comes from the environment I was born in as it runs in the family. Anything is possible if you have the will to do it. It’s also very important to be patient. I am a very patient person and I believe that good things take time. If you work hard towards something, you will make it happen. You can't simply sit and wish for things to happen. You will have to start by taking baby steps and being patient. It’s true what they say, if you believe in something then the entire universe will work towards making it happen for you.

Farah khan ali inside

In the pursuit of my dreams I have come across many cynical people, but I feel very sorry for them. Silence is usually the best way to deal with them. I never engage with them and that way I don't waste any energy. Always choose to surround yourself with positive people, let their energy drive you. If you ever get distracted by negative people know that their anger only stems from the fact that they themselves are unworthy.

Fitness for me is as important as praying, taking a bath or brushing my teeth. I believe that the human body needs food, water, fitness and sex to function. Fitness gives you an adrenaline rush and makes you happy. It not only makes you fit on the outside but makes you positive on the inside. If you don't look after your body then your body won’t return the favour by looking after you. I pray to god not only for spiritual energy but also for physical and mental energy. Fitness for me is not about just vanity, it's about feeling happy and positive about myself.

I gained 27 kilos after my first pregnancy and I simply didn't care, I took my own sweet time to lose weight and didn't give a hoot about what people said. Having a fit body is not about being skinny or thin it’s actually about taking care of your body. You can always eat a hamburger and stay healthy so long as it’s whole wheat and minced chicken. So eating right is very important. I would advice all girls to never diet because it ruins your system. Your workouts should be well planned in order to get the best results. Tip - don't slouch or hunch and smell good all the time which will make you feel good about yourself. And smile because anything can be set right with a smile.

Women from an early age are taught to believe that all that they should do is look pretty and dress well. Parents don’t tell their girls to be independent and carve a niche for themselves. Because of this women tend to judge themselves purely based on their looks. They don’t realise that what they see on TV is photoshopped and comparing themselves to that is entirely pointless. Men on the other hand are encouraged to follow their passion and be independent. Women should be taught the same but unfortunately they are not.

Family and friends are very important because only their support can help you through your hard times. Recently Sussanne went through some challenging times and we all made sure we stuck by her. I believe that when you are down, this is the only thing that will keep you going - the love and affection of your family members.

To all the women out there, don't pay attention to how you look, pay attention to what you can do in life. A woman brings people together and an intelligent woman has the world at her feet. Do things that make you feel happy. My mom has always told me and I now tell my daughter - that we should try and foster good relationships and not concentrate on materialistic things. Because at the end of the day people last, things won't. This is the reason why I share such a strong bond with all my siblings and we are always there for each other."

Farah Khan Ali is a gemologist and jewellery designer.

* In association with Puma.
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